Esoteric London

No. 55: Tottenham, N17

Posted in Meteorological by esotericlondon on May 14, 2010

Tottenham, London, N17. Photo © Roger Dean 2010

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” — Rabindranath Tagore

Luke Howard has been called “the father of meteorology” because of his comprehensive recordings of weather in the London area from 1801 to 1841 and his writings, which transformed the science of meteorology. In his late twenties, he wrote the Essay on the Modification of Clouds, which was published in 1803. He named the three principal categories of clouds – cumulus, stratus, and cirrus, as well as a series of intermediate and compound modifications, such as cirrostratus and stratocumulus, in order to accommodate the transitions occurring between the forms. There is a blue plaque to Howard at 7 Bruce Grove, Tottenham (the house in which he died, aged 91), on which he is described simply as “Namer of Clouds”. R.D.

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